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Thread: When I was on the Great War battlefields recently......

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  1. #51
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    Interesting, when you start digging around on these WW1 guys.
    I have just completed the history and military record on 8 guys from our village who we intend to do a big thing on for two weeks over Remembrance Day 3-18th November in our local church.
    One of the lads was 20 and onboard HMS Hawke when it was struck by the Titanic's sister ship in the solent in 1912, RMS Olympic. It was the Skipper of the Olympics fault as it was on sea trials, but what has transpired from this is the conspiracy, that the damage caused by this collision mirrors the damage the Titanic alledgely recieved after stirking an iceberg. The ship had to go back to Harland & Wolfe drydocks in Belfast.

    Low and behold it was the only time the White Star Line had both ships side by side in dry dock. There is some detail about Lloyds of London very reluctant to pay out the insurance on the ship and the Board of The White Star line were in panic and dissaray, as the line struggled to survive.

    There is also some real conspiracy stuff going round at the moment and from stuff recently recovered on the Titanic graveyard in the Atlantic, that the ships were switched over a weekend, and it was in effect the Olympus that sank not the Titanic.
    Anyway, I'll leave that to the American millionaire who states that, to prove his theory.

    Suffice it to say HMS Hawke was brought back on line just in time for WW1 and on the 15th October 1914 whilst at sea, took a direct UBoat torpedoe hit to its magazine, with a loss of 525 Officers and men with 86 of the crew young boys under the age of 18.

    RIP amazing this one story.
    Another one of the eight lads failed a medical after the MO identified he had a heart problem. At that time he was a TA soldier for 89 days.
    He returned to the village totally dejected, got on a train to Liverpool, and joined the Kings Liverpool Regiment.
    Ironically he was killed on the 21st September 1917 in Belgiumicon. RIP
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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    When you bring the unbelievable mass slaughter down to individual stories, it seems to have a more pronounced effect on people .... It's hard to relate to raw numbers, especially figures like the almost unimaginable WW1 casualties.

    This has got me exploring my Grandfather's Canadianicon military service .

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  6. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrclark303 View Post
    When you bring the unbelievable mass slaughter down to individual stories, it seems to have a more pronounced effect on people .... It's hard to relate to raw numbers, especially figures like the almost unimaginable WW1 casualties.

    This has got me exploring my Grandfather's Canadianicon military service .
    Agreed. Talking people and not numbers makes it 'personal'. Knowing the names - even without the intimate involvement of it being a family member - puts faces and lives behind numbers. It also brings awareness in ways that nothing else can. For example, one of my ancestors (Sir Brian Tunstall) died at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. While Scottish losses at Flodden are subject to debate, the total losses that day are estimated to be as high as 28% - all to arrow, pike and sword. My ancestor would disappear into that calculation if it weren't for the personal connection of a name, a face, and kinship.

    The advent of Rifles, machine guns, artillery, aircraft, bombs and missiles only made war and killing an enemy less up close and personal, quicker, and easier.

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  8. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S. View Post
    Agreed. Talking people and not numbers makes it 'personal'. Knowing the names - even without the intimate involvement of it being a family member - puts faces and lives behind numbers. It also brings awareness in ways that nothing else can. For example, one of my ancestors (Sir Brian Tunstall) died at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. While Scottish losses at Flodden are subject to debate, the total losses that day are estimated to be as high as 28% - all to arrow, pike and sword. My ancestor would disappear into that calculation if it weren't for the personal connection of a name, a face, and kinship.

    The advent of Rifles, machine guns, artillery, aircraft, bombs and missiles only made war and killing an enemy less up close and personal, quicker, and easier.
    Beautifully put Paul....

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    A local Army Cadet Corps did fund raising for three years for the the trip to do the battle field tour and to visit the Vimy memorial. Each cadet had taken a name from their local Cenotaph and did research on the fallen soldier.

    They also visited the Canadianicon cemetery to find the graves with the names that they had taken from the Cenotaph. One cadet was at the graveside where he had put a small framed photograph of his 'adopted' soldier along with a poppy and a Canadian flag.
    Totally by coincidence, some descendants of the soldier's family were also visiting that grave that day, they were speechless that some young person would even care.

    The cadet pointed out that at sixteen years of age the fallen soldier was younger than they were. Everybody just lost it and cried.

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  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gil Boyd View Post
    RIP amazing this one story.
    Another one of the eight lads failed a medical after the MO identified he had a heart problem. At that time he was a TA soldier for 89 days.
    He returned to the village totally dejected, got on a train to Liverpool, and joined the Kings Liverpool Regiment.
    Ironically he was killed on the 21st September 1917 in Belgiumicon. RIP
    Anymore info Gil, Kingsmen are a special interest to me...... must of been very early he tried to join, not many Doctors at the time turned people away, but being TA they could of volunteered for overseas duty, the beginning was strange as you had the Regular Army, the New Army and the TA.....

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    I believe Territorials volunteering for the BEF had to pass a medical examination.

  13. #58
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    Geoff,
    If you send me your email via PM's I'll send you his whole file.
    I know he came back from his medical absolutely devestated, and decided to get on a train and join a unit as far away as possible and ended up joining the Kings Liverpool Regiment, very sad, but I know what a small village mentality would have been like on his return for a young keen lad to emulate his peers in service, he must have been gutted and felt worthless!!
    In this day and age, the computer would have spotted his tries to re enter the Military system, but in those heady days of poor comms ie Telegrams and expensive phonecalls he simply slipped through the net!
    Good on yer RIP

    Last edited by Gil Boyd; 10-28-2018 at 11:17 AM.
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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